Are we being spied on ?


Recommended Posts

I know that when we look at certain objects on PC that we are followed with a certain amount of suggestions etc, but the other day as your mind has this unique way of controlling you, it starting thinking about the summer and what would be suitable to wear. Taken in mind Alexa was unplugged, phone discharged, on my own in the house and not one word uttered ( I promise ) out loud although it does happen sometimes but not on this particular day. 

My daughter came over for a coffee and we were looking for something on the ipad when up popped the artcles I had been thinking about. I laughed and showed her. She said she had been talking about the same thing with her ex husband ( business partner)  The same things had been happening to them. Sooo it made me wonder how on earth it could be, is someone invisible in th ehouse and reporting back to IT?:ph34r: Has anyone else had this strange phenomenon? We experimented yesterday by mentioning a certain type of flower that I'd seen but maybe it wont work because I searched for it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, nonnaB said:

I know that when we look at certain objects on PC that we are followed with a certain amount of suggestions etc, but the other day as your mind has this unique way of controlling you, it starting thinking about the summer and what would be suitable to wear.

 

It knows you are female, of a certain age; we are now approaching summer rather than winter, so it starts throwing fashion hints at you, regardless of what you have - or haven't - been looking at.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not fashion but necessity.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a it like the old fortune tellers trick. Throw out lot's of suggestions and you will lock on to the the relevant pages and reject or ignore the others. Clicking yes to MS and Google tacking makes it even more accurate.

As a fully paid up member of the IT dinosaurs guild I do my damndest to avoid their targeting but honestly - they will beat you every time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's Bill Gates nanos:rotfl:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bewear you are being watched from the day you are born  Don't you remember when they used to say "Big Brother "" is watching you. Nothing Changers they just get better at knowing what you are up-to  or and what you are doing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Big Brother, not forgetting also his Sister and all the non Gender specific Siblings, doesn't have to do much searching nowadays to find out what people are doing, people are stupid enough to broadcast to the Universe everything they do minute by minute.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

So long as nobody can get away with my bank details or steal my ID.. I'm not really bothered about being tracked or targeted by Google et. al. I'm not that susceptible to advertising or other forms of suggestion.

Since I've been moaning a bit about a sore knee.. I'm currently being targeted by purveyors of various brands of knee supports.. but just because they are out there does not mean I'm going to rush out and buy all.. or any of them.

 

As for Government..  Frankly. they don't give a toss what the vast bulk of us are doing at any given time.  Face facts... they can't even properly monitor the activities of known terrorist threats.. so they are hardly bothered whether  I'm at home.. or in Tesco.

 

If I was up to no good.. I hope I'd have the presence of mind to either not carry my mobile.. or to get a 'burner' phone.  Like most other people.. if they really wanted to track me.. they'd stick a tracker on my car.. just like in Line of Duty last week. 

Government already have access to my driving/vehicle records.. my address, employment record, tax/income status and whole rafts of other info.  Do I care?  Not really.  They need all that info in order to pay me my pension and to do lots of other stuff which is harmles to me.. and may be beneficial.

 

It seems to me that those people who are worried about 'Big Brother'...are looking in the wrong direction. The threat is much simpler and much less technologically advanced.  Johnson and his cronies are using a massive majority to not only push though laws limiting our freedom to protest.. but also to 'ride out'..deny and draw a line under the real underhand dealing, cronyism and corruption going on on their watch..and for their benefit.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If I’ve been browsing a Fred Perry or a pair of trainers, that colour of Fred Perry or that make of trainer will pop up on a different device as an advert on Mrs Reds Facebook & I’m not on even on Facebook? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised Col given your predisposition for political conspiracy theories you think the invasiveness of Google etc. is simply to track our whereabouts or wrongdoings.

It goes much further and far deeper than most realise.

To say we can ignore advertising is naive, we can't. It's pervasive, consensual brain washing and much as we may think it has no effect on us - it actually does and the younger the viewer the greater the effect.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, radfordred said:

If I’ve been browsing a Fred Perry or a pair of trainers, that colour of Fred Perry or that make of trainer will pop up on a different device as an advert on Mrs Reds Facebook & I’m not on even on Facebook? 

 

If all your devices are being used via your wi-fi..then they are presumably all 'showing' the same IP address.  If it bothers you.. maybe get a decent VPN

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Brew said:

It goes much further and far deeper than most realise.

 

Please expand.

2 hours ago, Brew said:

To say we can ignore advertising is naive, we can't. It's pervasive, consensual brain washing and much as we may think it has no effect on us - it actually does and the younger the viewer the greater the effect.

 

I certainly agree that younger people are more susceptible to advertising..and to other forms of persuasion.  I'm just saying that I'm not.. or certainly not in a way which is damaging. I would challenge anyone to prove any link between my purchase decisions and my google activity.

 

Rather than advertising.. I'm more worried about the fact that many people seemingly get all of their 'news' and info on current affairs..politics etc.. from dubious online sources.  Even the mainstream media, such as the BBC, and other major TV news channels, are seeming more and more influenced by 'dark forces'.  On a much simpler level.. I often wonder why the BBC choose to make some stuff 'newsworthy'..whilst ignoring other stuff.  Some days..there are very interesting features on lunch time news which don't even make the cut on the evening news. That..and the BBC's determined lack of any real analysis on scheduled News bulletins..is a worry.

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

Tell me you've never researched a product via the internet in order to make an informed choice...

 

Advertising is not just object A  washes whiter than white and is better than B, it covers the whole spectrum of our lives. Politics and consumerism are just two of the ways advertising informs, persuades  and shapes our thinking and behaviours. Since the birth of the internet direct in your face advertising  has grown exponentially, but it's now growing ever more subtle and insidious. 

 

True we of a 'certain age' may be more resistant, wiser in the ways of the world but we are far from immune.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was more interested in girls, Motown and beer when I lived in Nottingham.(17-18yrs old). However if this subject is your thing, can I suggest you read 'Hidden Persuaders' by Vance Packard (published in 1957). I read it when I was studying for my ONC at Peoples college. For me it could send a glass eye to sleep, however Brew, DJ360 and others might find it interesting?

 

 

 
Vance Packard's book The Hidden Persuaders, about media manipulationin the 1950s, sold more than a million copies.

In The Hidden Persuaders, first published in 1957, Packard explored advertisers' use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques, including depth psychology and subliminal tactics, to manipulate expectations and induce desire for products, particularly in the American postwar era. He identified eight "compelling needs" that advertisers promise products will fulfill (Emotional Security, Reassurance of worth, Ego gratification, Creative outlets, Love objects, Sense of power, Roots, Immortality).

Link to post
Share on other sites

Packard based much of, in my opinion, 'The Hidden Persuaders' on Maslow's hierarchy of needs however I am not solely referring  to advertising in my contention that the internet influences every aspect of our lives and not always for the good.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Brew said:

Tell me you've never researched a product via the internet in order to make an informed choice...

 

Of course I have... just as I also (in normal times) research via visiting shops and other suppliers of products I'm interested in.

 

9 hours ago, Brew said:

Advertising is not just object A  washes whiter than white and is better than B, it covers the whole spectrum of our lives. Politics and consumerism are just two of the ways advertising informs, persuades  and shapes our thinking and behaviours. Since the birth of the internet direct in your face advertising  has grown exponentially, but it's now growing ever more subtle and insidious. 

 

You still haven't given examples of how it is more subtle and/or insidious... at least not ways I'm personally bothered about. 

Yesterday..I found a bit of an online feature which went on about the poor stereo mix of the Beatles 'Revolver'.  (A lot of 60s pop was badly mixed in stereo because some 'engineers' simply didn't understand the principle of stereo.) It went on to say that many people prefer the Mono mix.  Also true.  However it then went on to claim that Revolver in Stereo sounds much better on headphones. (Which typically compress the soundstage..thus 'fixing' some of the issues..etc..)  Anyway.. I noted that the article writer kept referring to his Sennheiser headphones.. and sure enough..a bit lower down was reference to the article being 'Produced in Association with Sennheiser'... so not totally underhand.. but not everyone reads or comprehends as well as we do.. And of course.. Sennheiser do produce some rather fine headphones.. ranging from their totally OTT valve driven electrostatic 'Orpheus' model of the1990s.. coming in at about £10k.. through to their more affordale stuff at anything from a few quid up to maybe £5-600.

 

But that then brings me onto another aspect of Consumer Psychology.  I'd say that most people 'who expressed an opinion'..would think Sennheiser make the 'best' headphones.  In similar vein.. ask many people who makes the best hi-fi and you'll almost certainly be told 'Bang and Olufsen'. Neither is true.. but instead represents a sort of 'herd sensibility'..driven partly by some of the factors identified by Packard.

 

Leaving Maslow and Packard out of this.. and side stepping academic subtleties such as the difference between marketing and advertising..

 

When I was running a small business selling 'niche' audio equipment, I was very well aware that if I didn't advertise.. I didn't exist. In other words the first point of advertising was to make the potential market, aware that the product existed.  Obviously my advertising didn't miss opportunities to emphasise the quality of the product... but sales basically came from demonstration.. not from decisions made from a magazine ad.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

FTA (Free to Air) TV is my main exposure to advertising and at times I do find some of them quite clever and amusing. Most of them I struggle to work out what they are trying to sell me. If you want to sell to me tell me what you have got, where I can get it and how much it is that's all. I always put the mute on during ads and if you keep repeating the same advert at every break in the program or even twice in the same break you have lost me as a customer. I try but don't always remember to record the programs I want to watch so I can zap through the ads. Thank goodness we don't have to pay for a TV license. Don't take newspapers any more and have a no junk mail sticker on my mailbox. If I am looking to buy something I do use on-line research and my ad blocker works very effectively so I am not subject to many on-line ads.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oz  a 30 second peak time advert costs close to  a million plus production. I doubt they would pay for repeats if it didn't work. There is a trend started some years ago making them deliberately annoying, banal or silly because they know they are ones that stick in your mind and you remember. We like to think we're immune, too clever to be influenced - we're not.

 

We're getting hung up on consumer product advertising. Think more in the abstract about what the internet and 'big data' means. It is accepted in some circles that big date is now so big (a matrix of thousands upon thousands, possibly millions, of rows and columns and 'learning algorithms'), that no one really understands how it works. We know what it does and how to use it but not how it does it.

 

Users may not be overly concerned about this but it's a process of inurement that's slowly peeling away our freedom of thought, speech and actions layer by layer.

 

The subject is really too big and involved for this platform but here are examples.

 

In 2012 Facebook conducted and experiment with 61 million unsuspecting participants. (They have since apologised). It was the American midterm election and they sent a simple message:

"Today is voting day".  Nothing more.

 

They also sent the same message to selected users only this time in the bottom right hand corner of the page were thumbnail pictures of users from their friends list and the message "these people have already voted". The electoral authorities confirm 370,000 extra votes were recorded.

Thousands received this highly personalised communication that an algorithm had sorted from their contacts by ranking them in the order it thought the recipient would be most influenced by. Think about the data mining necessary to do that, what if they had targeted people by political persuasion?

All very interesting but the point is Facebook has the power to influence the demographic process.

 

To prove it was not a fluke or coincidence they did again in 2014. Fewer numbers but again there was a verified increase in voter turnout. 

 

Trumps campaign office admit using Facebooks ability to target individuals, in this case black American males in Philadelphia, to not vote at all. They couldn't swing them to Trump so they tried stop them voting against him. Although they deny it the question has to be asked how much influence did computers have making his campaign a success?

 

Facebook have made numerous other experiments using their users as innocent Guinea Pigs, mainly by controlling what they were allowed to see.

 

It used to be said that whoever controls the press controls the country. There is a war going and has been for some time to gain control of the internet.

Imagine if our entire knowledge and experience is manipulated and controlled by a single organisation through media, news feeds and advertising - how would we know?

A quick look around various sites and publications verify this and detail many more ways algorithms are controlling people and shaping society

 

 Facebook manipulated users' moods in secret experiment | The Independent | The Independent

 

10 Other Facebook Experiments On Users, Rated On A Highly-Scientific WTF Scale (forbes.com)

 

Trump's campaign 'tried to stop 3,500,000 black Americans from voting' | Metro News

 

And this is just Facebook, there is Google, Amazon, Twitter, TikTok, Tencent  and more all doing the same or similar.

 

Edit:

I've still got my copy of Revolver    thumbsup

 

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was going to ask Echo / Alexa about machine guns , bomb making and baseball bats just to see what pops up on my computer next. :laugh:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Cliff Ton changed the title to Are we being spied on ?

When you're connected to the internet even typing words that you later delete, don't send or save are recorded by Google.

 

Quite why anyone wants a permanently on microphone in their home listening and recording their private lives is beyond me. Amazon may not use or listen to all your conversations but happily admit it sends 'clips' of conversations it picks up to  'graders', someone who listen and judge the sound for clarity etc. They have reported hearing family rows, financial information and even 'steamy sounds'. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be scared if I had anything to hide or if men in black suits gave me a visit but I think the most important thing they are after is your spending. Advertising is their main aim.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I entirely agree AR... at the moment. But who can say that as these systems become more powerful and those controlling begin to look at other ways to use the power of the internet it will remain so?  Youtube have started playing mind games, where will it end?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/30/2021 at 2:00 AM, Brew said:

It used to be said that whoever controls the press controls the country. There is a war going and has been for some time to gain control of the internet.

 

I'm sure that is true.  But the bottom line for me is that the control of information has a far longer history than just the Internet.  Since time immemorial, those in positions of power, or those attempting to gain such positions.. have used information, misinformation, carefully managed interpretations of religious tracts, suppression of new ideas, etc.. etc.. to maintain their ascendancy.

 

The best that we can hope for is that people learn to think for themselves and to question everything.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...